Energy companies and non-profits in the region are providing an opportunity for college students from across the nation to work together virtually to address energy sector challenges.
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Chattanooga’s Electric Power Board (EPB), have teamed with non-profits Co.Lab and Green|spaces to host the first Gig City Innovation Challenge as part of the city’s Start-up Week later this month.
The contest provides an opportunity for students from universities across the country to work together virtually to address challenges in the energy sector.
The specific challenge will focus on enhancing adoption of electric vehicles, and students will have 48 hours to formulate their solution that addresses the challenge provided at the beginning of the event. After the 48 hours, teams will submit their recorded pitches to the judges, who will then select four finalist teams to pitch at a virtual public event on 23 October as part of Start-up Week Chattanooga.
“Between EPB, with one of the most advanced smart grids in the world, and the operational centre of the TVA serving 10 million people in seven states, Chattanooga is an ideal sandbox for innovation in the energy space,” said Michael Walton, executive director of Green|spaces, a non-profit that is dedicated to sustainability in the region.
According to the leadership at Co.Lab, a non-profit dedicated to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, this event aligns perfectly with the mission of the Chattanooga Smart Communities Collaborative (CSCC) of which Co.Lab and EPB are member organisations.
“We are excited to engage some of the nation’s top emerging talent through this challenge and not only accelerate the participants’ careers but also innovation in the energy sector”
The CSCC is a multi-organisational effort including academia, corporations and government whose mission is to develop and implement solutions relevant to the region’s existing assets, with verticals in energy, mobility and health.
Teams which win first, second, and third place will be awarded $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000, respectively. The first placed team will also receive direct support from partners to enable it to implement the proposed solution.
“We are excited to engage some of the nation’s top emerging talent through this challenge and not only accelerate the participants’ careers but also innovation in the energy sector,” added Marcus Shaw, chief executive officer of Co.Lab
“Our hope is that this challenge will attract participants to Chattanooga as a launchpad for the next stage of their careers.”
For more information, go to colab.co/gigcitychallenge.
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